Magpies lose Leon Davis
COLLINGWOOD great Leon Davis has announced his retirement from the club after deciding to return to Western Australia to be closer to family and friends.
Davis debuted for the Magpies in the 2000 season and has gone on to to rack up an outstanding 225-game, 12-season career for the club.
However, the pull of family and friends persuaded the 30-year-old to make the decision to leave Melbourne and return home.
Davis said it would be painful to tear himself away from his teammates and coaches, but believed it was the right time to depart the Magpies.
"I definitely enjoyed my 12 years at Collingwood. I'm proud of what I achieved and it's sad to be leaving, but I'm looking forward to the next phase of my life," Davis said.
"There were plenty of highs and some lows, but the highs certainly outweighed the lows, and hopefully my family, friends, coaches, teammates and supporters have been proud of what I've been able to achieve. It's been an incredible ride.
"While I'll miss being around the club, it's great for my family to be home. It's been a long time coming and for my children and partner to be around other family members is something I'm really happy about."
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said Davis was always torn between the club and his family, but somehow still managed to play every game with the same focus and determination.
"Leon has made an outstanding contribution to the Collingwood Football Club and we are very proud of what he has achieved ... he has been a pioneer," Buckley said.
"The pull to go home has always been very strong but over 12 seasons Leon has maximised his talent and developed into a fine player whose training standards were always very high, and who was admired and respected around the club.
"We were keen for Leon to play on but his heart is set, totally understandably, on being with family, and we wish him well in the next chapter of his life."